Using Digital Rights Management to Protect Content

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You can control the use of your encoded content by protecting it using the Microsoft Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Content is encoded and then encrypted with a key, and then a license is required of users to play the content. This license contains the key to unlock the content and the rights that govern its use. For example, the license determines the number of times the content can be played or whether the license expires.

Licenses are issued by a third-party license provider, so you must set up an account with a provider before you can issue licenses for your content. During this process, you also decide which rights to include in the licenses for your protected content.

You will need a DRM profile before you protect content. The DRM profile is either created by the license provider or by you, depending on the license provider's business model, and contains information that is needed for license acquisition.

Once you have set up a DRM profile and chosen a license provider, use the following steps to complete the DRM process:

  1. Encode and protect your content with your DRM profile.
  2. Distribute your protected content to users, for example, by streaming it or providing files for download.
  3. When end users open the protected content, their player acquires a license, which is issued by the license provider that you chose. The exact process is determined by you and your license provider. For example, you might require the user to pay for the license first, or you might opt for silent license delivery (the license is issued without the end user being aware of it). Once the license is issued, the end user can play the content according to the rights that you specified.

Note   In order for end users to play protected content, they must use a player that supports the DRM technology. For a list of players, see the Players page on the Web site.

For more information, see the following topics.

Topic Description
Setting Up an Account with a License Provider Describes how to choose a license provider to issue licenses for you.
Creating a DRM Profile Describes how you create a DRM profile, which is required before you can protect content.
Modifying a DRM Profile Describes how to change the information, such as attributes, in a DRM profile.
Protecting Content Describes how to encrypt your content using DRM technology.

See Also